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AP catches Dollar rewriting his role in group home crisis

A Sunday story by AP’s Michael Biesecker appears to catch Rep. Nelson Dollar in a blatant falsehood about why the state now faces a crisis that that threatens to throw 1,400 people with mental illness out of group homes and into homelessness.

The story details how a last minute change to the technical corrections bill in the last legislative session banned group homes from receiving any money from emergency funds set aside to keep thousands of people with a mental illness from being thrown out of their beds in certain facilities because of the state response to a federal ruling about who was eligible for benefits.

The legislative change meant only people in adult care homes would be allowed to stay with the new money, leaving the 1,400 people in group homes at risk. 

Then when the crisis became public Republicans predictably blamed Gov. Perdue, as the AP story documents.

Republican leaders, including Gov.-elect Pat McCrory, initially blamed the Perdue administration for not providing the needed money for group homes. But Republican legislators drafted and approved the 2013 budget, overriding a veto from the outgoing Democratic governor…

…Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Republican from Cary, has suggested they were never told group home residents were at risk. Dollar is a co-chair of the committee that oversees the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and is one of the chief Republican budget writers in the House.

But it turns out Dollar did know that the 1,400 people were in danger.

But an exchange of emails released by the state department through a public records request suggests Dollar was informed. On June 27, five days before the technical corrections bill was ratified, Deputy Secretary for Health Services Beth Melcher emailed Dollar and legislative staffers that group homes would be affected by the Medicaid changes.

The AP story also suggests a motivation for Dollar to exclude the people in group homes and then to try to distort the record about how he did it.

Asked this week whether the legislation had been changed to exclude group homes at the request of lobbyists for the adult care home industry, Dollar replied: “I don’t have an answer for you on that. We talked to a lot of people.”

Dollar is rumored to be under consideration by Governor-elect Pat McCrory for apppointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

 

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Frank Burns

    November 26, 2012 at 9:37 am

    What is odd is that the Associated Press would consider this a newsworthy story on some obscure NC Representative. I suggest there are more news worthy items out there such as Obama’s poor response to the Benghazi attack and their attempted cover up.

    Is the AP interested in the looming fiscal cliff?

  2. david esmay

    November 26, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Frank, do you have first hand knowledge of what the CIA’s response was, hell no. We don’t need to know the details of covert operations, if we know, the enemy knows, you moronic troll.

  3. Frank Burns

    November 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Excuses, excuses. Welcome to Obamaworld.

  4. david esmay

    November 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Really Frank? The GOPers on the House Intelligence Committee had the facts, yet still went before the cameras to express their mock outrage to score political points, and fabricate a scandal. They need a WMD moment and they will eventually be forced to walk back every unfounded accusation they’ve made in public. Right now we’ve got a who’s the biggest idiot going on between Peter King and the increasingly bitter and irrelevant John McCain.

  5. Frank Burns

    November 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    David, enough already. I get it. Anytime Obama fails to perform, it’s always somebody else’s fault. The buck stops elsewhere.

  6. david esmay

    November 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Frank, enough already, I get it. You’re a conspiracy nut living in a conservative fever swamp tilting at imaginary windmills.

  7. david esmay

    November 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Where were you Frank when Bush failed to perform when 10 embassies and consulates were attacked and dozens of lives lost during his administration? Why aren’t you calling for an investigation on the massive failure that occurred during the reign of George the Dullard? WMD’s, the deaths of 5,000 U.S. troops and 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens, where’s your outrage, Troll?

  8. JeffS

    November 26, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Another legislator caught lying. I know it’s become passe, but yes, it is definitely newsworthy.

    The GOP made the decision to cut the budget and they made the decision not to add the funding back. Whether he lied, couldn’t remember what was done, or didn’t understand what was done? For some reason, I’m a little surprised that Dollar feels that admitting incompetence is the way to handle this one.

  9. Verla Insko

    November 26, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    During the budget process, DHHS staff informed Rep. Dollar that the CMS ruling also affected group homes for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. Rep. Dollar asked Sec. Delia to document the problem which Beth Melcher did in her memo. After that, Rep. Dollar added a provision to the technical corrections bill clarifying that the relief funds could be used “only” for adult care homes. According to the DHHS staff member, a lobbyist told Rep. Dollar or his ataff that the group homes would not be affected.

    The very specific language limiting the funds to adult care homes prevents the Governor from invoking the Executive Budget Act.

  10. Frances Jenkins

    November 27, 2012 at 8:19 am

    If Chris and the press cared about the corruption going on with the Democrats across the state, what a wonderful world this would be. I wonder what Chris does when he discovers he can expose a Republican? It does not seem healthy to me. Anyway, would it be possible to know or care how many jobs across the state are being reclassified to a civil service rather than political? Are employees being promoted with higher salaries before the new administration takes office? Is this costing the state thousands of dollars? Would you find an answer for the people of North Carolina? I know you would love to tell about what the Democrats are doing in this peaceful transfer of power in which the Democrats are doing everything to hold on to power that the people decided they did not want them to have.

  11. david esmay

    November 27, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Dollar is a lying, duplicitous POS. As a scoutmaster, I think he needs to return his Eagle rank and Vigil Honor sash, his behavior has rendered them meaningless.